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Food Porn Report: Cochon 555 2013
April 9, 2013 | 9:00AM

Traditionally, COCHON 555 has been a staple of the MEN-OF-BYT coverage. Whether it involved Seaton Smith and Chris Svetlik running around Ritz Carlton or Cale and Jeff slurping bacon soda on top of the Newseum-men have spearheaded the pork coverage on our end. Well, this year, Stephanie and I went and while there may be less photos of us putting fat on top of our heads (hey, it is not our fault we’re not bald), we feel confident that the food porn aspect matches if not surpasses the years past. By the time you’re done with this, there WILL BE delicious, delicious fat dripping off your screen, WE PROMISE.

all photos, btw, of course-by Stephanie Breijo.

Example 1:

For the uninitiated, COCHON 555 is a touring church of America’s pork obsessions. For 5 years now, Brady Lowe has taken his pig show on a cross-country trip, each city getting their own  5 pigs (from local farms),  which then get used and abused in the most creative ways by 5 local Chefs and 5 Winemakers provide necessary in-between-fat refreshments. Then, at the end of the night one of the chefs gets voted (basically) Prince of Porc, and everyone continues drinking and eating till they can’t stand any more.

2013 Chefs were the following well appointed bunch Mike Isabella (Graffiato/Bandolero), Haidar Karoum (Proof/Estadio), Kyle Bailey (Birch & Barley), Jeffery Buben (Vidalia/Woodward Table) & Bryan Voltaggio (VOLT/Range/Family Meal), and more about some of their high lights momentarily (plus, you know, telling you who won) …

….BUT it should also be noted that this year it being the 5 year anniversary, the offerings were a little more intense: on top of the usual insanity with the added bonuses of a  Punch Kings competition, a Tartare Bar with Daniel Singhofen of Eola, a Family Meal with John Critchley of Bourbon Steak,  butcher demos and raffles with Chris Fuller, Swine and Sweets, a cheese bar by Righteous Cheese and a ton of other stuff.

The pro move, as everyone knows, is to show up right on the VIP dot clock and just dive in. The OTHER pro move was obviously to definitely take advantage of the oyster bar (thanks Rappahannock for always being there when we need you) and the oyster shooters courtesy of Gina Chersevani. If the saline doesn’t save you/cut the fat on a night like this-NOTHING WILL.

Now, this is probably as good of a time as any to tell you that Mike Isabella won this year, with his ISABELLA & SONS FINE MEATS one-off (?) operation and that he will be going to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen to compete with the rest of the country’s COCHON 555 winners. Good luck, Mike!

isabella

His food was super delicious (We opened this post with a shot of his pork belly pastrami, so that should be recommendation enough), plus he had little nutella and whipped pork fat wrapped cookies which were a pretty genius move both taste and marketing strategy wise.

Still it should be noted that we were pretty ready to marry at least 2 dishes from each of the Chefs so here is a brief highlight reel of what stole our pork-clogged hearts that afternoon:

  • the super delicious stew (bacon cornbread necessary for sopping it all up) and the bacon cinnamon buns from Jeffery Buben. Street cred bonus: all the chefs we talked to were all about that stew.

  • the insane meat loaves as well as the chocolate/bacon/salty balls at the Voltaggio table

  • the Egg DCMuffins and the pig blood ice cream pops at Kyle Bailey’s table (the desserts, of course, being made by NRG’s own Tiffany MacIsaac, whose GBD donut/chicken operation just opened too)

  • as well as the white sausages and open faced egg mcmuffins @ Haidar Karoum’s station (which perfectly sums up the miracle of this occasion: not one BUT two of these chefs decided to do a play on the McMuffin. More days should be like this)

Before you dive into the rest of the food porn, a quick shout out to the pageantry of the evening: the pork ties, tattoos, barettes and beyond. Pork love everywhere:

 

 

 

OK, now sink your teeth into these and, if you went, let us know what some of your favorite bites were:

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